The Department of Health and Human Services released the Medicare Part B premium rates for 2018
According to Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the premium amounts for Medicare Part B are not changing from 2017 to 2018, however the premium you actually pay may go up.
Your premium might go up for one of two reasons.
Since Social Security is being increased by 2%, the folks who were previously protected under the “hold harmless” provision, currently paying less than $134 from their Social Security, will most likely see an increase to their Medicare Part B premium… and the slight increase to their Social Security benefit will most likely be fully or partially absorbed by the increasing cost of the Medicare Part B premium.
Example: In 2017, Robert’s Medicare Part B premium was $109. His Social Security benefit was $1,000. In 2018, since his Social Security benefit will be increased by 2% to $1,020, his Medicare Part B premium will be increased to $129. Unfortunately, Robert’s increase in Social Security this year will be fully absorbed by the increasing cost of his Medicare Part B coverage.
Example: In 2017, Julie’s Medicare Part B premium was $109. Her Social Security benefit was $2,400. In 2018, since her Social Security benefit will be increased by 2% to $2,448, her Medicare Part B premium will be increased to $134. Since Julie’s Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) from 2016 keeps her in the least expensive Medicare Part B premium bracket, her premium cannot exceed the $134. But part of the increase to her Social Security is still being absorbed by the increasing cost of her Medicare Part B coverage.
The income bracket limits are changing for the highest 3 brackets. This may move some folks in the higher income brackets to higher premium rates.
Example: In 2017, Barbara’s Medicare Part B premium was $267.90 because her MAGI in 2015 was $140,000 (filing single), when filing an individual tax return with a MAGI between $107,001 and $160,000 kept her at this premium rate. However, in 2018, Barbara’s Medicare Part B premium will increase to $348.30 even if her MAGI for 2016 continues to be $140,000 because the bracket for the $267.90 premium now caps out at $133,500… moving her into the $348.30 premium bracket.
Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount
NOTE: All premiums listed in this article are per person/per month.